Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Silent Sin

     Groove metal is by far, the easiest metal genre to really get into-when it's done right. I couldn't find the thread where bands post requests for reviews for about a month until Matt shot me a message over facebook informing me that he needed me to do some reviews. I opened the thread, looked over the choices, saw "groove metal" promptly opened up their myspace page, Silent Sin was a good choice.

     In my experience, the first aspect of a band's sound I notice is sound quality, partially because I pay an unusual amount of attention to recording quality, and partially because a poorly recorded opening riff will almost always identify abysmal recording quality for the rest of the album. A shoddy opening riff will tell you nothing about what is to come on the rest of the album. Silent Sin's production values may be abysmal by mainstream standards, but they successfully hit the sweet spot between too "raw" (meaning the band is using a crap laptop mic that will record music with no semblance to the actual sound) and too glossy (a la "Demigod"). Silent Sin doesn't dick around with triggers, and there's plenty of static and distortion, but in the end, it's a very organic, pleasing sound.

     Initial impressions aside, Silent Sin has a firm grasp of the core elements of the Groove Metal genre; they're chaotic, they've got funk / groove elements, most importantly, they sound straight up violent. I think the aggression is where groove metal appeals to me the most. Metal, for me, can turn into an obsession reminiscent of a crack addiction at times, I listen to metal because it's and aggressive umbrella genre that frequently relies heavily on technicality, e.g. its a full out aural onslaught. Unfortunately, most every metal band I've heard seems to lose its edge after more than a dozen listens on an album. I keep looking for more and more aggressive material to get the same experience out of listening to metal. I presume I'm not the only one who feels the need to keep ramping up the "dose" because Dying Fetus has started to sound tame after two dozen listens on their full discography or so. Silent Sin (as well as most other groove metal bands for that matter) currently seem to provide a sufficient "dosage" to get the whole wall of sound / aggression effect at this point for me. The riffs are fast, complex, and heavy; in Silent Sin's case, slightly awkward and jilted at times, somewhat muddy due to the recording quality at others, but for the most part, high in quality. The vocals gradually taper off in quality from really guttural, full growls in "Ruining the Living" to lukewarm barks by about "Fog Fields", then proceed to deviate to some proficient screams until "Blindead Eyes". The last two songs, "Played by Others" and "A.N.T.I." mark the low point of the album as a whole, with vocals that aren't very good to begin with directly clashing with the vapid riffs of "Played by Others" and the trying-too-hard-and-just-missing-the-mark riffs of "A.N.T.I."

     On this album, there are two definitive stand out songs worth mentioning, the first is the brilliant opener "Ruining the Living". This song is really a penultimate example of groove metal done right as I described in the first paragraph; it sounds like all hell breaking loose. It's the most well paced song on the album, moving just slow enough for the listener to absorb the full brunt of each note on the guitar and each double bass kick. The vocals also work the best here. The second stand out song is "Blindead Eyes" which is a bit of a deviation from the template set down by the rest of the album. Its more of an experimental, proggish song, playing on a heavy / slow contrast. Falsely deep? Perhaps a bit, but the effects and tones that this song uses in its slower pieces are enough to appeal to the ambient / alt rock fan in me. The transitions from soft to heavy need to smoothing out, but the transitions from heavy to soft are almost perfect.  As for bands these guys sound like, I haven't really heard many groove metal bands, but the one that comes to mind when asked what these guys sound like is DevilDriver. The tempo and groove feel the same for either band, Silent Sin just doesn't inspire as much of a love/hate response from me. I got this review done in one shot, I took 5 shots at reviewing "The Fury of our Maker's Hand" giving it reviews ranging from a 5.5 to an 8.5.

     Ignoring the dissapointing finish, Silent Sin produces chaotic, energetic groove metal in a charmingly lo-fi package. They don't innovate, by any stretch of the imagination, and there's nothing really special to set them apart from another Groove Metal band, but they aren't "average".

Listen Here:


  1. Silent Sin's Facebook page:

  2. Link doesn't work for me, sorry.